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PRIME (Positive Transitions Through the Menopause) Study: a protocol for a mixed-methods study investigating the impact of the menopause on the health and well-being of women living with HIV in England
  1. Shema Tariq1,
  2. Fiona M Burns1,2,
  3. Richard Gilson1,
  4. Caroline Sabin1
  1. 1 Institute for Global Health, University College London, London, UK
  2. 2 Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust, London, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Shema Tariq; s.tariq{at}


Introduction Advances in antiretroviral therapy have transformed HIV into a long-term condition with near-normal life expectancy for those in whom viral replication is well controlled on treatment. This means that age-related events, including menopause, is of increasing importance in the care of people living with HIV. The PRIME (Positive Transitions Through the Menopause) Study aims to explore the impact of the menopause on the health and well-being of women living with HIV (WLHIV).

Methods and analysis The PRIME Study is a multicentre, mixed-methods observational study deploying a multiphase sequential design with explanatory and exploratory phases. Phase 1 comprised three focus group discussions with WLHIV. In phase 2 we aimed to administer questionnaires comprising detailed assessment of menopausal status and symptoms to 1500 WLHIV aged 45–60 attending HIV clinics in England. Phase 3 comprised semistructured interviews with a subsample of phase 2 participants. Ongoing quantitative follow-up of 100 participants is planned between October 2018 and September 2019. Qualitative and quantitative data will be kept analytically distinct and analysed using appropriate methods. We will integrate quantitative and qualitative findings using coding matrices.

Ethics and dissemination The PRIME Study has ethical approval from the South East Coast-Surrey Research Ethics Committee on behalf of all National Health Service (NHS) sites, and approval from University College London Research Ethics Committee for qualitative work conducted in non-NHS sites. In conjunction with the study Expert Advisory Group (which includes WLHIV), we have drafted a dissemination strategy that takes into account a wide range of stakeholders, including patients, policy makers and healthcare providers. This includes at least five empirical research papers to be submitted to peer-reviewed journals, as well as an accessible report aimed primarily at a non-technical audience (published in May 2018 and launched at a live-streamed event). Both quantitative and qualitative data are held by the PRIME Study team and are available by request.

  • women
  • menopause
  • mixed methods

This is an open access article distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 Unported (CC BY 4.0) license, which permits others to copy, redistribute, remix, transform and build upon this work for any purpose, provided the original work is properly cited, a link to the licence is given, and indication of whether changes were made. See:

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  • Contributors ST conceived and designed the study with support from FMB, RG and CS. ST drafted the first version of this article. All authors critically reviewed the first version of the article and approved the final draft for publication.

  • Funding "The baseline PRIME study was funded in the form of a National Institute of Health Research (NIHR) postdoctoral fellowship awarded to ST, funded by the National Institute of Health Research (PDF-2014-07-071). The follow-up study is funded by the British HIV Association (BHIVA) in the form of a BHIVA Research Award commencing in September 2018. Between March and December 2018 ST received salary support to continue work on this study, through a UCL/Wellcome Institutional Strategic Support Fund Flexible Support Award (204841/Z/16/Z). This manuscript presents independent research funded by the NIHR."

  • Disclaimer The views expressed are those of the authors and not necessarily those of the NHS, the NIHR or the Department of Health.

  • Competing interests ST has previously received a travel bursary funded by Janssen-Cilag through the British HIV Association, and speaker honoraria and funding for preparation of educational materials from Gilead Sciences. ST, FMB and CS are members of the steering group of SWIFT, a networking group for people involved in research in HIV and women, funded by Bristol-Myers Squibb. CS has received funding for membership in Data Safety and Monitoring Boards, Advisory Boards, speaker panels and for preparation of educational materials from Gilead Sciences, ViiV Healthcare and Janssen-Cilag. FMB has received consultancy fees and conference support from Gilead Sciences.

  • Ethics approval Qualitative research undertaken outside the NHS in phase 1 was reviewed by the University College London Research Ethics Committee (Project ID: 6698/001). The baseline study has ethical approval from the South East Coast-Surrey Research Ethics Committee on behalf of all NHS sites (REF 15/0735) for phases 2 and 3, and approval from the South Central Hampshire Research Ethics Committee (REF 18/SC/0570) for the follow up study.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Patient consent for publication Not required.

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